May 2016 MAP Update
| P.O. Box 128 | 575 US Highway 250 | Savannah OH 44874 | Office: (419) 962-1515|
In This Issue
|Housing Ministry and Leaving the Amish, By Joe Keim|
First, a big thank you to all who took the time to help us come up with names for the housing unit and bulk food store. Some of the more popular names are (Apartment) Common Ground, Victorious Living, New Beginnings, and Vision of Hope; (store) Bread of Life, Beyond Measure, God’s Bounty, Fresh Center, and Nature’s Best. Our next step is to check for name availability and then let you know what we end up with. We will keep you posted.
To date, we have raised $156,614 of $253,215. As we continue to move forward, we’d like to invite you join us in raising the rest of the funds. The following breakdown shows the total amount still needed to complete one 3-apartment unit:
* Kitchen Cabinets: $8,400/3-apartments = $2,800
* Heating/Cooling: $18,900/3-apartments = $6,300
* Plumbing: $18,000/3-apartments = $6,000
* Drywall: $10,848/3-apartments = $3,616
* Windows: $6,342/3-apartments = $2,114
* Electric: $21,000/3-apartments = $7,000
* Trusses: $4,536/3-apartments = $1,512
* Doors: $8,571/3-apartments = $2,857
Give toward the housing project: Click HERE
Leaving the Amish
According to recent statistics, there are now 300,000 Amish people living in 501 settlements across the United States and Canada. The population continues to double every twenty years. On average, a brand new settlement springs up in America every three weeks.
As the Amish population grows, so does the number of individuals and families leaving the culture. We have noticed a recent spike, which usually happens in the spring and again in late fall.
It is not uncommon for MAP to get emails from Amish individuals, asking if we could help them. Here are two that came through in the past week:
Hi MAP, my name is Sadie. I just turned 18 and I would like more information on what you can help me with. I will be checking my email once a week when I am able to go to the library or a neighbor's house. Please let me know how I can be in touch with you.
A second email from another individual:
Hi MAP, I am writing you on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. ________ Yoder from Sonora, KY. Their 18-year old daughter, Anna, left the community on the 27th of April—the day before her birthday. They, of course, are worried and want to know that she is OK. She didn't give any reasons why she left their community and we they don't know where to look and are afraid they may push her into hiding if they do pursue her. I am asking that if you hear anything or can let us know that she is OK, we'd appreciate it.
Do you see the importance of a ministry such as Mission to Amish People, and why the Lord put this ministry together in 2000?
Do you also see why the MAP apartments are a must?
When these young girls leave their families, they often disappear without saying a word. Within hours, they need housing, clothing, food, jobs, personal ID documents, education and so many other things. Hardly ever do they leave for spiritual reasons. For that reason, we have an opportunity to share the gospel with them.
Several months ago, I received a call from an Amish family in KY, explaining how someone had handed them a gospel tract from our ministry, and that they would like more resources if possible. Sam, the father, explained how they and another family in the community had come to an understanding that salvation was by faith alone, grace alone, and Christ alone—and that they had all placed their trust in Christ for the forgiveness of sins and everlasting life.
Last month, we were finally able to meet the Yoders and Troyers face to face when they came to the Amish Awareness Conference in Eddyville, KY. We spent time praying together and loving on each other, knowing they would have to face many challenges in the weeks to come.
Just this weekend, both families informed their bishops and notified their parents and siblings via letter that they would be leaving the Amish church. This always sends shockwaves through the entire Amish world. Families and church leaders will begin to call, stop in, and write letters, begging them to reconsider. People on both sides go through a time of deep sorrow and mourning, realizing that things will never be the same again. Oftentimes, there are sleepless nights, tears and even emotional outbursts.
At a time like this, we are very much aware of the huge price Jesus said we'd have to pay to follow Him.
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. — Luke 14:26-27
Please pray for the Yoders and Troyers as they seek to identify with people in a new culture. Pray that God would lead them to a local church body where they can grown in the Faith and use their spiritual gifts. This is so vital.
— Joe and Esther Keim
Here is a testimony from Sam:
I was born to Amish parents in Geauga County, Ohio, in 1982. When I was 6 years old, we moved to a new community in Hart County, Kentucky, because my parents didn’t like the partying and immoral behavior going on among the youth.
I remember getting the impression that we were better than those in the old community. Why? Well, first, our community didn’t allow tobacco or bed-courtship, and we were mostly made up of people who wanted something better for their youth. But I soon realized that the devil has a thousand ways to mislead people. You can make all the rules you want, but you cannot change the heart.
By outward appearance I was an obedient young man and never got into any major trouble; but God knows what all was inside.
I joined the church for two reasons. First, there was a certain young lady I wanted to get to know better, but before I could date her I had to first join the church. Second, my parents wanted me to, and I never considered anything else.
In 2012, my sister-in-law went to Door of Hope for counseling and came back a changed person, and to make a long story short, in 2013, we went to a DOH conference and I heard the new birth as explained in the Bible between Jesus and Nicodemus. That was on November 7, 2013, and I became a new creature through Christ Jesus our Lord!
|Amish Awareness Conference and House Addition, By Jonas Yoder|
Amish Awareness Conference
The 2016 Amish Awareness Conference in Eddyville, KY, was a huge blessing. There were about 100 people on Friday and 120 on Saturday. Folks from PA, OH, IN, IL, KY, TN, MO, NE, TX, and one all the way from CA, showed up to see what God is doing among the Amish and Mennonite people. Some came out of curiosity, some because they had experienced that lifestyle and knew the struggle of leaving because of their faith in Christ, some because they were at the threshold of a decision that could separate them from their family and culture forever, and some because of a burden they felt for their local Amish community. Most of them left the conference with a new sense of direction and a fresh zeal to see people come to Christ.
I was humbled and awed by God’s mighty move among His people; we watched as some surrendered their lives for His service, and others responded with intercession for their community or family members. We have already received a lot of positive feedback from those who attended the conference. Pray for those who will be going out with renewed effort to share the Gospel to a lost and dying world.
In the meantime, we have a busy summer ahead of us as we move forward on plans to build an addition to our house. This past year, we had a couple people mention that they would like to help us add on to our house as it gets rather crowded with 9 children in a two-bedroom house! We do have a separate apartment where the four oldest boys sleep, but our small house is still bursting at the seams! In the past two months, several significant donations have come in for the addition, so we are beginning to move forward.
I have been in contact with two young Hutterite youth from Montana for almost two months. They got saved over a year ago when they snuck out of the colony and attended a revival service. They would now like to leave the colony in order to be able to serve the Lord as the Bible teaches. Their names are Josiah and Sarah. Josiah seems to think he is called to preach, and Sarah is also excited about being able to have Bible studies and share the Gospel with others. Pray for them as we work out the details for them to move to KY and start a new life on their own.
Thank you for your continued prayer and support as we seek to serve the Lord.
— Jonas and Mary Yoder
|Ordained to Ministry, By Samuel Girod|
We had an exciting March! On March 12th, I was ordained as a pastor at my home church in Dillsboro, IN. We had a wonderful day. There were pastors there from four different states to pray over me as well as give their blessings.
On March 15th, I was working in KY. I called Joe Keim and told him where I was. Joe said that he had received a call from an Amish man in that area and wondered if I would be willing to contact him. I made arrangements to meet this young Amish man that same day. I stopped and met this man and another one who was with him, and they certainly have powerful testimonies. I had never met these men before, but I learned that one of their wives is my second cousin! We at MAP were very excited about these families coming to know Christ.
For me to find out that Amish people are getting saved is far better than any business deal a person could make. Many are praying for revival among the Amish, and I know that God is answering prayers. I also learned about six families getting together for secret Bible studies, all as a result of just one young lady leaving and getting saved.
In April, MAP got a call from another couple in Michigan that got saved and are on fire for God. I contacted them, talked to them for an hour, and found out they accepted Jesus just this last February. They are in their late 20’s. It is exciting to see Amish people come out from their groups and proclaim the Gospel.
2 Corinthians 6:17-18 says: Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
I and many others have felt and still feel the rejection that these young couples are experiencing. They certainly are taking up their cross, counting the cost, and following Jesus when they make the final move of saying that they can no longer follow the traditions of men, but have to follow God’s Word. I believe that if there would not be people like you and others praying for the Amish, this would not be happening. Thank you for praying and giving.
The Amish Awareness Conference in Eddyville, KY, is over, but it looks like we will be having another one in Lancaster, PA, this fall; mark your calendar for October 14 and 15. We are also making plans for a family/Amish Awareness Conference at MAP in Savannah, OH, for March 29-31, 2017.
Until next time, may God bless each and every one of you as you live for Him.
— Samuel and Polly Girod
|Tractor for Souls, By Joe Keim|
Since 2000, donors have given clothing, food, furniture, appliances and vehicles to help people in need. They have shared their income, postage stamps, provided housing and taxi service, and graded and folded Bible lessons. They have led Bible studies, prayer meetings, conferences and the list goes on and on.
More recently, a local donor stopped by our office and said: “We would like to take you out to our farm and show you an antique tractor; you can sell it and use the money to send out more Bible lessons.”
The couple went on to say how the Lord had prompted them to trade their tractor in for souls.
God did send us a buyer. In turn, we bought more Bible lessons and the gospel of Jesus Christ continues to spread across the land.
|The Gospel of John Book, By Joe Keim|
In January, two thousand more Gospel of John books were delivered to MAP for distribution among our people. This booklet contains the following parallel translations: Luther Bibel 1545, PA Dutch, and KJV. The fourth column contains notes from the perspective of former Old Order Amish and Mennonite individuals to help readers think about what they’re reading. In addition to the Gospel of John being written in three languages, we have also included three relevant Bible lessons and a clear outline of how one must be born of God.
The Dunkleys (left) have bought quite a few cases and are giving theirs out at Tupperware parties and schools, while the Zook family (bottom) is sending theirs out in the mail—do you see the whole family holding copies of the Gospel of John book?
Join the Dunkleys and Zooks! You can buy your own case of 56 books at $2 a book plus postage. For details, please go to our website - Gospel of John - or call the office at (419) 962-1515.
|Home Sweet Home, By Matthew and Debbie|
In the last MAP Update we wrote about our home situation, how we were asked to be moved out of our Amish home we rent by April 1st. It is now late April and the Lord has provided a way for us to buy our home. It requires great submission and obedience to the Lord, but we are willing and trusting in Him. Our landowner is growing impatient, as this is a very slow process. Please continue to pray that the Lord's will prevails and that this is a smooth transition.
During the first week of April we had a coffee party in our home, where nearly 50 Amish gathered. We were able to meet Amish from another community with whom we are now in contact and to whom we are reaching out. We have now had the privilege of sharing the message of salvation with seven Amish families, most of whom have been receptive. We have handed out a couple copies of the book of John. One recipient of the book is the lady and children to whom we are ministering, who live in cramped quarters, and the father/husband is absent. Please pray for this family—for salvation and a home.
Some in the community seem as though they have Christ as their Savior, but it takes much digging into conversation to determine that assurance. One conversation with an Amish friend led to him saying, "The Bible says to train up a child in the way that he should go and he will never depart from it, and I believe it would be a sin if I left the Amish, in which I was brought up. I would be sinning against my parents." When extending the invitation for a Bible study, an Amish lady friend responded, "I don't think it would be thought of too kindly." Another said, "If I leave the Amish, I would be sinning."
Meanwhile, we have been adhering to the call from the Lord to plant a future church for former Amish, by attending church planting classes, studying, and reading helpful literature. We are also being equipped on how to disciple others.
— Matthew and Debbie